Philippines-based Plentina, a buy now, pay later startup focused on emerging markets, announced today it has raised $2.2 million. This brings the fintech’s total funding since it was founded in 2019, including a seed round announced in April, to $5.7 million. The latest funding was led by TMV, with participation from Global Founders Capital and returning investors AV Ventures, Techstars and Unpopular Ventures.
The new capital will be used to speed-track Plentina’s growth in the Philippines, expand its product and start exploring launches in other countries, including Vietnam. The company is targeting a Series A raise next year and will hire senior talent before then.
In addition to its BNPL platform, Plentina also plans to focus on other data-driven financial services (its co-founders, Kevin Gabayan and Earl Valencia, are data scientists whose combined work experience include positions at Google and Charles Schwab). The two note that the Philippines has a population of more than 100 million people, but less than 5% of access to credit cards.
The company says that in 2021, Plentina’s Android app downloads have increased by 500%, growing from 30,000 users to over 150,000. It plans to launch an iOS app early next year.
When Plentina launched in the Philippines last October, it initially focused on daily needs, signing partnerships with vendors like 7-Eleven and telecom Smart Communications. Since then, it has added more than 20 brands to its platform and more categories. These include necessities like food, groceries and education supplies, but also things like airline tickets, gaming and e-commerce.
Its merchants include e-commerce platforms and offline retailers, like Isetann Supermarket, Lazada, Zalora, Shopee, Agoda, McDonald’s, Philippine Airlines, Razer E-Pins and National Bookstores. The company says it has a waitlist of more than 20 brands waiting to onboard to its platform.
Plentina also added new loan terms. When TechCrunch last covered the company in April, its required repayment within 14 days. Now Plentina has extended its BNPL offers to three months, since it has options for larger-value items, like airline tickets and e-commerce purchases.
The company will start its international expansion next year. “We are guided by our mission to democratize financial services to emerging markets, so we are planning to expand to Vietnam in 2022,” Valencia told TechCrunch. “We will apply lessons in launching and scaling in our first market of the Philippines.” He added that Plentina has already recruited a leadership team in Vietnam to launch operations.
In a statement, TMV founder and general partner Soraya Darabi said, “Kevin and Earl are precisely the entrepreneurs we look to back as investors. They have the domain discipline to be focused on this audacious opportunity, the tenacity to see it through to success. We are enthusiastically partnering with them to bring robust financial services to the Philippines and beyond.”